What Is a Thumper? – A thumper is essentially a parasitic kettle connected to the primary distilling kettle, The thumper gets heated with the heat already produced to feed the primary kettle. Evidently, the thumper gets its name from the sound it makes while in operation.
What is the purpose of a thumper in moonshine?
A Quick Summary – If you’re in a hurry and just need to know the most essential information about the humble thumper keg, here it is.
- What Is It? A thumper keg works to distill your low wine a second time. It may be made of copper, steel, or wood, and sits between the still pot and condenser.
- What Does A Thump Keg Do? It speeds up the distillation process and transforms your low wine into a liquid with higher alcohol content, which is critical for making moonshine or bourbon.
- What Size Thump Keg Do You Need To Use? It should generally be about 25% to 40% of the size of your main boiler.
Now, if you need to know more about the thumper keg, keep reading.
Does a thumper add flavor?
Figure 3, Diagram showing flow of vapor through still and thump keg – While offering obvious advantages over a simple pot still, how does the the thump keg compare to a more sophisticated reflux column still? For the backwoods moonshiner, of course, there’s the obvious advantage of material-on-hand.
It’s much easier – and cheaper – to find a discarded wooden barrel than to purchase enough Raschig rings or copper scouring pads to fill a large fractionating column. On the other hand, a well-constructed column is capable of yielding near the theoretical maximum alcohol content, in excess of 95%, while also giving better separation between the ethyl alcohol and the esters and ketones in the heads or the heavy fusel alcohols in the tails.
Some, including traditional moonshiners and the connoisseurs of single-malt, pot-distilled Scotch whiskeys, would probably argue that this separation is a bit too good, and that the column strips out too many of these tasty (in moderation!) cogeners, producing a bland, albeit strong, whiskey.
- They would maintain that properly-managed pot still set up with a thump keg can deliver just the right amount of these compounds to create a full-flavored, robust whiskey that indeed tastes like whiskey, rather than like an aged vodka.
- To what extent this is true and how much is folklore is debatable, but it is inarguably the case that the flavor-changes between cuts will less sharply pronounced and that more of these “whiskey” flavors will be present in the final product.
In the Discovery Channel series, “Moonshiners”, former shiner Tim Smith maintains that his old family recipe, made in a modern distillery and distilled using a column still just doesn’t taste the same, and even invests several thousand dollars to install a high-tech thump keg to replace the fractionating column.
However, if getting these traditional flavors in one’s own distillate is a concern to the user of an efficient fractionating-column still, by simply reducing the amount of reflux in his column, he can obtain results similar to those one would get using the pot still/thump keg setup. Finally, it should be added that a thump keg can be used to impart flavor in another manner as well: it can be used just like a gin basket.
Fruit, herbs, or spices can be placed in the thumper where their essences are, in effect, steam-extracted along with the alcohol during this virtual second distillation. This will provide a fresher, fuller flavor than will simply adding these materials to the mash, since more of the volatile flavoring compounds will be carried over into the final distillate.
How do thumpers work?
What is a Thump Keg? – via GIPHY A thumper keg is an essential component of a distillation setup that plays a crucial role in enhancing the flavor and aroma of spirits. It is a secondary chamber connected to the main still, where the distillate passes through before being collected.
- The primary function of a thumper keg is to introduce additional ingredients, such as herbs, fruits, or spices, into the distillation process, creating a unique infusion that sets your spirits apart.
- The thumper keg works on the principle of vapor infusion, where the rising steam from the main still interacts with the ingredients in the thumper keg, extracting their flavors and aromas.
This infusion process results in a more complex and layered spirit that tantalizes the taste buds and leaves a lasting impression. Whether you’re a seasoned distiller or just starting out, incorporating a thumper keg into your setup can take your craft to a whole new level.
- The thump keg has been part of the whiskey-making process for a very long time.
- The main purpose of a thump keg is to distill your output of a pot still a second time without having to run the product through the still a second time or to alter the taste and potency of your moonshine.
- You can produce a low-quality whiskey with just a pot and no thump keg.
These spirits usually yield around 40 – 50% alcohol after a single run. Those who want to create a high proof whiskey will then do a second run using the same product to increase the taste and quality of the still. With a thump keg, you can create much higher quality still without having to go through the entire process all over again.
Can you put fruit in thumper?
Thump Keg – A thump keg is a small, usually wooden cask or barrel, used to store and transport wine or other alcoholic beverages. They are often used by wineries and breweries to age and store their products. A thumper is also known as a keg. It is frequently mentioned alongside the still and still and doubler, thump barrel, or thump chest.
- There’s a very old, classic design about it, and it’s located between the stillpot and the condenser.
- This method is intended to allow the pot’s output to be distilled twice without requiring the distillate to be reintroduced into the still.
- Typically, a standard pot can still distill a wash to a low level of wine.
The thumper keg, like the spirit still, is used to distillation. During these distillations, some moonshiners add more ethyl alcohol to the thumper. A second time, hot vapor will continuously heat the low wine to the boiling point of alcohol, necessitating the return of the low wine to the boiling point of alcohol.
If the barrel is too hot, it will not work with your thumper keg. Adding fruits, herbs, or spices to your moonshine will give it a new flavor. The size of a thumper keg is typically between 25% and 40% of the size of a main boiler. You can still use this method to produce more alcohol by volume or proof without having to purchase a more expensive distillate.
How do you clean a stinky keg ? To get the most out of it, you’ll need to run it through a vinegar wash. If you’re looking for a thumper keg that’s made of stainless steel, this is the one for you. A DIY Thumper with a capacity of two gal and ten liter.
How much water do you put in a thumper?
Best Liquid To Use in Thumper Making moonshine with a thumper instead of a pot still is great because thumpers essentially perform two distillations in one—without stripping the flavor the way reflux distillation does. Depending on your thumper, it’s typical to plan to fill it about halfway with liquid.
Do you want bubbles in moonshine?
Moonshine Alcohol Content Test – Unlike store bought alcoholic beverages, your homemade moonshine does not come with an ABV label. You will have to perform a simple test to calculate the amount of alcohol in your moonshine. The experienced, old school moonshiners are able to tell the proof of their moonshine by simply shaking the mason jar and observing the bubbles.
- If the moonshine has large bubbles that dissolve quickly it indicates the moonshine has a high alcohol content.
- If the moonshine has smaller bubbles that dissolve slowly, it indicates a lower alcohol content.
- Even though this test has been used for more than a century to proof moonshine, nowadays, we can easily and more accurately proof moonshine by using a few simple tools– a hydromete r and a copper proofing parrot or a borosilicate glass test jar.
So, whether you are making moonshine for the first time or having been doing it for a long timehere’s what you need to know to most accurately proof it.